As reported in the Red and Black, in anticipation of AthFest, an annual music and arts festival that begins June 23, many businesses such as Craft Public House on 1040 Gaines School Road, will be hosting special events.
The Eastside restaurant will combine art, food and charity with an art pop up featuring Jamie Calkin during its regular happy hour of which a portion of the proceeds will go toward AthFest Educates.
Supporting local art year-round, Rob Longstreet, the owner of Craft Public House, said his goal since opening the restaurant was to create a space to showcase local artists.
“We have a local art wall on the backside of the restaurant,” Longstreet said. “We hosted the first artist Mina Orion- Atlas Kim. She did art pieces for the wall right when we opened. The artist whose pieces are here now is named James Greer.”
In preparation for AthFest, Craft Public House decided to collaborate with Jamie Calkin, well-known for his watercolor paintings, particularly the mural inside of Tate Student Center. Calkin said he was excited about the pop up, where he will unveil a new piece for the restaurant.
“A little thing that’s interesting is that it’s probably gonna be an interior painting—that’s kind of new for me,” Calkin said. “I used to exclusively focus on the outside of buildings and scenes. It’s been an interesting challenge to try and capture inside spaces.”
During the event Calkin will be painting and selling some of his works, which will be on sale. Following AthFest, Calkin hopes to grow and try new techniques with his art.
“The Tate mural definitely gave me an appreciation for large pieces and public art; I would like to do more murals, interior and exterior,” Calkin said. “I’d also like to start doing oil paintings and oil portraits. That’s the next thing, since I almost exclusively work in ink and watercolor.”
It is still unclear whether the unveiling at Craft House will be a mural or a smaller work. Calkin said he just wants this art piece to be reflective of the Eastside neighborhood which generally receives less attention.
“I like the underdog. The Eastside in some ways is an underdog of Athens,” Calkin said. “It’s really exciting to celebrate that with the Craft pop up.”
Food and drinks will be served at Craft alongside the pop-up. A portion of the proceeds from Craft and Calkin will be given to AthFest Educates, a nonprofit that works to advance music and art education for students in Athens-Clarke County.
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